October 27, 2020 Your Source for Brentwood News

Brentwood’s Transition Continues

Diesel, the bookstore over at the Country Mart, is struggling. COVID is probably driving more people than usual to order books via Amazon, and Diesel can only let seven individuals into the store at one time (for no more than 15 minutes).  

Diesel now has a GoFundMe page for those who want to help keep our local bookstore afloat. I went to the GoFundMe page to check it out: https://tinyurl.com/y5xd7537

I’m happy to report Diesel is achieving strong support.  Most contributions are in the $25 – $50 range, but I see one anonymous donor gave $5,000.  Wow!

Those of us who have been around long enough of course still miss Duttons, but having Diesel is surely a whole lot better than having no bookstore at all.  

I was saddened to see that Harry’s Wine & Spirits on San Vicente just closed.  

Harry’s used to be over near 26th and San Vicente.  The Brentwood News had its offices in that area once upon a time. We were where Aristeia Needlepoint is now, just south of Amici (which arrived after a mattress store left).  

So long, Harry. You will be missed! Photo: Jeff Hall.

Whenever we got done producing a paper, I would make a run over to Harry’s, and return to our office carrying a cardboard box filled with beer, wine, sodas and snacks – and then our team would celebrate another issue completed.

I’ve known Harry a long time.  If you read this, Harry, please know you will be missed!

The Brentwood (which some of us remember as the Brentwood Inn) is transforming itself into a Mexican restaurant called Baja Norte. It remains under the same ownership. I liked The Brentwood as it was, but I look forward to trying Baja Norte.   

The Brentwood – formerly Brentwood Inn – is now Baja Norte. Photo: Jeff Hall.

There is something I find very peculiar.

There is a big parking lot on Barrington, just south of the Post Office, that used to be used by Brentwood Village shoppers, local residents, park visitors and dogwalkers alike.  

You know the place; you probably used to park there – and often.

Several months ago, the VA set up a guard shack at this parking lot and started charging. The charges seem quite high: $200 a week for daytime parking; $200 a week for nighttime parking; and $300 a week if you want 24/7 parking.  

If you just want in and out, it’s $1.25 for 15 minutes. If you want to stay all day, it’s $20.  

But here’s the problem: Nobody seems to be parking there. Every time I drive by, the place is nearly completely empty.  Brentwood Village is not Downtown Los Angeles or the Third Street Promenade; these are steep charges for this neck of the woods.

The Veterans Barrington Park parking lot goes largely unused these days. Photo: Jeff Hall.

There is a sign at the entryway to the parking lot saying, “Your parking fees help assist programs that benefit U.S. veterans. Thank you for your support.”

But if nobody wants to pay these high rates, it’s hard to imagine how veterans benefit from this new arrangement.  Seems to me the VA should immediately slash prices.  The demand for parking is obviously there – this parking lot used to be packed – but certainly not at these prices. 

I suggest a line of parking meters close to the Post Office charging 25 cents for 15 minutes (good for a quick run to the Post Office), 50 cents for a half hour and a dollar an hour. 

For those who need longer parking, I suggest $7 all day, $7 all night, and $10 for 24/7.  

With a lot more vehicles parked there, the VA would make more money, which can be used to assist veterans.  Plus Brentwood Village, the Post Office and local residents will regain needed access to parking. This could be a big win-win; right now it looks like a big lose-lose. 

I’ve once again had email issues and once again need to make a change.  

If you want to reach me about Brentwood News matters, please send me an email: [email protected]

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